quasi-proper name for a fox, c.1300, from Old French Renart, Reynard name of the fox in Roman de Renart, from Old High German personal name Reginhart "strong in counsel," literally "counsel-brave." The first element is related to reckon, the second to hard. Cf. Old French renardie "craftiness." The tales were so popular that the name became the word for "fox" in Old French.